Eurovision 2013 really took it up a gear as rehearsals kicked off in Malmo today. So what did we learn today?
The Stage Looks Amazing
I'm really pleased with the overall stage. I was afraid it would be a bit too much like the 2010 stage when SVT were making some many budget cutbacks.
Semi-Final 1 has a dull start
Despite the EBU's shouting about the importance of not using a random order for the draw SF1 still will have a fairly dull opening of Austria, Estonia, Slovenia and Croatia will only have Slovenia to liven the mood.
There was no major surprises today
This nearly was the biggest surprise of all. It is early days yet, though some surprises may come nothing about any of the songs. Austria and Croatia remain borderline qualifiers though I think that Croatia are still an amazing song. Slovenia was the only country with any real vocal problems though given that this is only the first rehearsal there's a lot of time to iron out problems.
Denmark, Ukraine and Russia all remain some of the strongest songs in the competition and all could conceivably win the contest overall, though I remain unconvinced that Russia will be able to do this, given the votes in that block that will go to Ukraine which has a far more original song.
Of course tomorrow I will be very much looking forward to the Irish rehearsal and will be giving some reaction to it tomorrow.